Protect Your Deck This Winter As the leaves start to change color, you
may find yourself reminiscing about the hours of enjoyment spent outside on your deck. While warm weather gatherings and summer barbecues are a favorite pastime of the season, the combination of foot traffic, food spills and weather can take its toll on any deck.
Before the chill in the air turns into harsh winter weather, clean and protect your deck to prepare it for the long winter months ahead.
“Smart homeowners recognize that seasonal changes can wreak havoc on decks unless properly maintained,” says Fiona Seal, Rust-Oleum Wood Care brand manager. “But with a few simple steps, you can winterize your deck so it survives the onslaught of ice, snow, sleet and moisture that can cause damage during the months ahead.”
Here are a few deck survival tips that can
keep your deck looking beautiful longer. * Clean thoroughly: Ground-in dirt and
barbecue stains can ruin your deck’s ap- pearance and ultimately cause degrading of the wood. Exposure to sun can cause wood to gray and weather and exposure to moisture can create the perfect conditions for the growth of mold, mildew, moss and algae. So it’s important to clean your deck thoroughly to remove the remnants of sum- mer and get it ready for winter. Use a bleach-free cleaner specifically formulated for wood to restore your deck to its natural beauty without the bleaching or yellowing that chlorine bleach can cause. Cleaners like JOMAX Deck Wash loosen and lift dirt, and remove gray weathered wood and stains from mold and mildew to prepare the deck for a new protective coating. And the convenient hose mount applicators make these cleaners easy to use. Just attach to an ordinary garden hose and spray. It’s that simple. If your stained or painted deck has seen better days, consider stripping any faded or deteriorating finish prior to applying a water repellent sealer or stain. * Apply a protective finish: After clean-
ing, it’s important to apply a water repellent finish to protect your deck against the dam- aging effects of winter. Moisture such as ice, snow, sleet and rain can penetrate the surface if not protected, which can cause splitting, cracking and warping. Fortunately, there’s a wide variety of premium exterior wood finishes that offer protection against the elements, while giving you the opportu-
nity to achieve any look you desire. For example, if you’re looking for a
clear water repellent to protect against water damage without changing the color of the wood, choose a product like Rust-Oleum Premium Water Sealer. It will protect your deck against the ele- ments for three years.
Or for maximum protection against
water absorption and maximum durabil- ity, choose a product like Rust-Oleum Premium Deck and Fence Stain. It’s available in both solid and semi- transparent formulas in 22 dif- ferent colors so you can choose any look you desire. What’s more, it’s backed by a 10-Year Satisfaction Guarantee so it will keep your deck protected and looking beautiful for years. Rust-Oleum Premium
Deck and Fence Stain also features breakthrough Cool Touch technology, which reflects solar rays to keep surfaces cooler to the touch. It’s the per- fect preparation for next season’s warm summer weather. For product informa- tion or more helpful wood care tips, visit www.rustoleum.com
. - ARA Content
September 16 Page 13
2011 Impr Homeovement A Guide for Getting Through Emergency Home Repairs A surprise can be fun on some occasions, like
your birthday. But when it comes to home repair emergencies, a surprise is the last thing you want - especially in these economically challenging times.
Unfortunately, this is a situation all too many
homeowners find themselves in after a home emergency. Often they discover that a repair they assumed would be covered by their home insur- ance or local utility is actually their responsibility
to fix. From water and drainage systems to electrical and heating/cooling configurations, your home is a complex network of pipes, wires and electri- cal components that could require an emergency repair at any time. An outside water pipe breaking or a sewer line collapsing can easily rank as a homeowners’ worst nightmare; however, when an emergency occurs, most homeowners are not aware of who is respon- sible for the damage. In fact, less than 50 percent of the homeowners in a recent national survey, conducted by GfK Roper Custom Research, knew that they were responsible for repairs to the water line between their house and the street. This is where companies that offer emergency home repair plans, such as HomeServe USA, can make the difference between peace of mind and an expensive and time-consuming repair. “According the results of the survey, one third of all homeowners responding assumed that their local utility was responsible for the cost of a burst water line between their house and the street, when this is usually not the case,” says Tom Rusin, chief executive officer of HomeServe USA. “One of the challenges of home ownership is that the potential for expensive repairs is always out there. In fact, repairing a water service line can cost more than $2,000 and simply clearing a blocked drain can cost upwards of $350.” Rusin suggests that all homeowners do the fol-
lowing things to minimize the potential financial liability and hassle associated with home repair emergencies: 1. Speak to your homeowners insurance agent to get a clear understanding of which areas of your home are covered by your insurance policy
and which ones are not. Potential trouble spots include interior and exterior electrical wiring, outside water service and sewer lines, inside plumbing and gas piping, central heating and air conditioning systems, and the water heater. 2. Similarly, speak to your local electric, gas,
and water utilities to determine equipment that you may be responsible for. As mentioned earlier, the water and sewer lines that run underneath the lawn are the responsibility of the homeowner in the vast majority of cases.
3. Proper maintenance of home components greatly minimizes the chance of an unexpected emergency. For example, check the air filter on your central heating or cooling system regularly and change it about once every three months during the season. Protect water pipes from freezing with proper insulation or draining them prior to winter. And fix leaky faucets and toilets to save water and prevent bigger problems.
4. Consider a home emer-
gency protection plan that can relieve you of not only the financial burden of a home emergency, but also the uncertainty involved in looking for a repair person on a Sunday afternoon.
“The more prepared homeowners are for a home repair emergency, the more peace of mind they’ll have and the more time they can spend en- joying their house with their families,” says Rusin.
- ARA Content
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